WATCH ABOVE: Gibbons council met for the first time since stripping Mayor Doug Horner of most of his powers today, and took even more of his authority away. Fletcher Kent explains.
EDMONTON – In a frosty first meeting since town council voted to make Doug Horner mayor in name only, councillors took more privileges away from him.
Council cut Horner’s pay, took his town cell phone away, and removed him from regional boards.
Councillors say the mayor has been abusive and unprofessional and has even been involved in a bar fight.
Horner describes the claims as lies and “hypocritical.”
“I’m used to it,” he said. “I’ve got big shoulders. They have no facts to back up… I have letters saying that a lot of what they repeat in the media is lies.”
Horner vowed to keep fighting back against the allegations.
“I built a company in the oil and gas sector while being a single parent raising a daughter for 10 years,” he said.
“These guys are puppy pee compared to that.”
News cameras were not permitted in Tuesday’s town meeting.
Council members worry Horner reflects badly on all of them.
“It makes us look like a bunch of idiots,” said Town Councillor Jonathan Derouin. “I wasn’t too happy about it, but again, nothing new that we haven’t seen before.”
“I think it’s safe to say that we’re sort of at a stalemate right now,” added Councillor Amber Harris.
In July, council voted to sanction Horner and stripped him of most of his authority for at least six months.
The province has provided Gibbons $40,000 to hire a mediator. That process will begin after Labour Day, however few on council feel it will help.
“My personal opinion: mediator – waste of time,” said Derouin.
“We’ll try this,” said Bauder. “Hopefully some of these issues can be cleared up. We don’t know.”
If mediation does not work, council can vote to extend the sanctions on Mayor Horner.
With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News
© Shaw Media, 2014